Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tutorial: Quilt-As-You-Go Hexie Coasters!

Y'all ready for this? I've got a new tutorial for you... may I present the Quilt-As-You-Go Hexie Coasters!

Woot! I actually made this coaster and took all of the pictures for this post about two months ago... I think I may have procrastinated in the posting a little bit *blush*. But I think it turned out pretty darned cute, don't you? Okay, now who wants to get started?! Let's go!!


For Hexies:
9 fabric squares measuring 2.5x2.5" each
9 one-inch hexagon templates*
Hand sewing needle
Hand sewing thread

For Coasters:
5x5" piece of muslin or scrap fabric for foundation**
5x5" piece of thin batting
5x5" piece of fabric for backing
Scrap of fabric 1.25x22" for binding

* You can make your own hexagon graph paper here (just be sure to select the 1 inch option and measure one side to be sure after you've printed them out) or order some pre-made templates from here. I've done both.
**This piece of fabric is merely used as a foundation for the hexagons and will not be seen, so go ahead and use something truly ugly!!

Now, I'm going to start off by showing you the method that I use to make hexies. This method works especially well for this type of project, but if you make your hexies a different way - go for it! You may need to be a little more careful when you get to the quilt-as-you-go portion of this tutorial, but I think it'll still work out. If you already know how to make hexies, just skip this portion of the tutorial, but make sure that you have 9 completed hexies before moving on to the next portion.

English Paper-Piecing Directions:

Pin one hexagon template to one 2.5x2.5" fabric square and trim the fabric down, leaving 1/4" around all sides of the hexagon template. Have a length of thread in your needle, knotted, and ready to go!

Fold one edge of the fabric down so that it is snug against the edge of the template.

Fold the adjoining edge down so that it too is snug against the template and so that the fabric overlaps at the corner.

Run your needle and thread through the corner of the fabric, being careful not to pick up any of the paper template in the process. Pull the thread all the way through so that the knot if snug to the fabric.

Run your needle and thread through the corner once more to secure it in place. Pull all of the way though.

Fold down the next corner just as did before and bring your needle across. Repeat the above steps to secure the corner. Pull the thread taut, but not so tightly that the template curls - this will ensure that the edges of the fabric all stay in place.

Repeat the above steps all of the way around the hexagon. At the last corner run your needle through a couple of times as above and secure with a knot. Cut your thread.

And there you have a completed hexie! Repeat the steps above until you have 9 completed hexagons for your coaster.

Quilt-As-You-Go Coaster Directions:

Draw a light line in pencil 1/4" away from the edge all around your muslin foundation piece. Layer your muslin, batting, and backing as shown ensuring that the backing is right side down and that the pencil markings on the muslin are facing up.

Pop the templates out of all of your hexagons. If you used the method that I described above to make your hexagons than they will hold their shape when the templates are removed. If you used another method they may not hold their shape so well and should be handled with care.

Begin by placing one hexagon in the top, right corner so that it's corners and top edge are flush with the 1/4" lines you drew on the muslin. Pin in place and, if you wish, use pins to baste around it to keep the three quilt layers from shifting.

Sew 1/16 to 1/8" from the edge all of the way around your first hexagon. Obviously, for this one (and a few others) the hexagon goes over the edge of the foundation so just stop sewing when you reach the edge. Make sure to smooth out your hexagon and to keep the edges of the hexie flat as you sew.

Align your next hexie so that it's top edge is butting against the bottom edge of the one you've just sewn. Sew all the way around.

Repeat the steps above until you have your entire muslin covered. For the smaller areas of blank space left on the left hand side of the coaster, trim some excess off of a hexagon you've already attached - once all of the hexies are sewn on you will see this excess, just use the edge of the muslin as a guide (so sorry that I forgot to take pictures of this step) - sew this excess onto the small blank spaces. Most of these small spaces will be covered by the binding, but it's always best to fill in as much as possible.

Evenly trim your coaster down to 4.5" square - this would mean trimming your coaster down about 1/4" on all four sides, but be careful since the coaster may have shrunk slightly with the quilting.

Use the binding strip that you have set aside and bind as desired. I did it the "traditional" way by machine sewing the front side, then folding over and hand sewing the back, but you could machine sew the whole thing on if you wanted! And see all of the pretty quilting that shows on the back from sewing around the hexagons - ohhh yaaaa!

Grab yourself a drink and enjoy! Anne of Green Gables mug totally optional of course but I would highly recommend it *wink*!

So what do y'all think? I really hope you liked this tutorial and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Be sure to send me pictures or add them to the Flickr group if you do make a hexie coaster or two using this tutorial!


  1. what a great idea! I love how the quilting looks on the back!

  2. This is a wonderful tutorial. You did a great job explaining it. I have never made the hexes but have wanted to try them. I am pretty sure with your directions I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. This looks like something I might even be able to manage :) And the Anne mug rocks.

  4. That's awesome!!! I've never tried hexies so I think this would be a great project for me to start with :) Thank you for the great tutorial.

  5. Pretty, pretty, pretty! I will surely make one.. or ten of them :) Thank you very much.

  6. Just fab, I have hexie love and have been making hexie bags so these could be coming up soon as a project for me.

  7. I LOVE IT!!! It will be a snap for me. My husband just bought me the Acuquilt Studio for Mother's Day, and one of the five die that he bought me was the 1" hexie die! It cuts about 15 or 20 hexies at once! I have been working on a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt since this past fall, but now I have REALLY sped up the cutting process. So this part (cutting the hexies for the coaster) will be super quick! And you stitch them exactly the way I do. But I also spray starch them after I take the paper templates out. I won't do that in this case though, because they're individual hexies, rather than a whole assembled unit. I can't wait to make them.

  8. This would be great on my teacher desk at work! Thank you!

  9. Great tutorial! I'll have to give this a try really soon.

    1. this is the cutest little thing! I want to try making one!

  10. I think that is most excellent and super cute! Great idea.

  11. Now those look like hexes I can handle! Thanks for the tutorial!

  12. This is fantastic! I have always been intimidated with Hexies. Glad to have found you through the Sewing Summit attendee list. Looking forward to meeting you!

    - Jess

  13. Love love this tutorial... Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. A friend sent me the link to your blog because I love hexies. Thank you for the fun tutorial....I love it. I'll be sending all my friends too.



  16. FANTASTIC IDEA! I love applique - and I can now see how I can do ALL SORTS OF APPLIQUE SHAPES with this method - and a little quilting inbetween. THANKS for the inspiration! Isn't this going to be fun with the PIECED HEXIES in larger sizes - stitch in the ditch on the piecing and then quilt down! Whoopee! My new quilt is "born" - in my head!

  17. I have made lap quilts with these Hexies but never thought of using them for coasters Thanks for your pattern can't wait to start.

  18. 20 years ago I helped my mom make hundreds of hexies for a quilt that she never made. (Knowing her, they are still in a box somewhere.) I have always wanted to try a hexie project myself and this has helped me to get up the nerve to give it a go. Thank you ever so much!

  19. Just saw this tut, fun idea! I would suggest making the backing fabric abt 1.5" bigger all around, then fold over 1/4", bring to front of square, fold again and sew down...binding all done!

  20. O have 40 1inch hexie flowers made. If add green around them.... hmmm